Category Archives: Emergence: Janus Unfolding Book One

Beyond Cloud Nine and Planet Nine

I recently read Beyond Cloud Nine by Greg Spry and saw an announcement of a suspected Planet Nine. I thought of the two together because so much of the book takes place out in our solar system

I really liked the book. It was an exciting story set in the not too distant future.

beyond-cloud-nine

There are well described and choreographed space battles.  The mysterious foes out maneuver all the good guys, but the heroine’s faster reflexes allow her to survive.

I really liked the author’s treatment of the science. He consistently kept within the bounds of plausibility and explained things in an easily understood way. In the book a scientist has come up with a way to get around the solar system more efficiently and possibly travel to the stars.

Without going into spoiler details, I like what he came up with. It is akin to what I use in my Janus Unfolding series, only he uses machines and I use minds.

Inheritance, Janus Unfolding

Inheritance, Janus Unfolding

The other aspect of the story that is interesting is the mysterious opposition: what they do and why they are doing it. It’s a new twist on an old theme that I found fun to uncover as I read the book.

Shortly after I read Beyond Cloud Nine there was an announcement about a mysterious Planet Nine that is postulated to be beyond Neptune.

No one has detected it, but the scientists say that a planet with ten times the mass of earth, 155 billion miles away would be the best way to explain certain eccentric orbits of other objects in the Kuiper belt and explain why the sun’s axis is tilted relative to the plane of the other planet orbits.

There were a number of articles, but I thought this one by John Timmer, the science editor at Ars Technica described it well. I’ve provided the first couple of paragraphs and a link to his article if you want to look into I further.

planet-nine

The possible ninth planet could explain a tilt in the Sun. Calculations suggest a Solar System oddity could be due Planet 9.

JOHN TIMMER – 10/21/2016,

Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

Ideas about a possible ninth planet have been kicking around since shortly after we discovered the eighth in 1846. But so far, all that we’ve come up with is Pluto and a handful of other objects orbiting out in the Kuiper Belt. And these dwarf planets simply don’t have the mass to have a significant gravitational influence on our Solar System.

But our inability to find anything big beyond the known planets may just have been because we weren’t thinking radically enough. One of the people responsible for the discovery of a number of Kuiper Belt Objects noticed an odd alignment in their orbits. When running models of how that oddity could be produced, he and his team found that a large planet with an extreme orbit would work.

Calling it Planet 9, they suggested it could be over 10 times Earth’s mass and so far out it takes 20,000 years to complete one orbit. Planet 9, they speculated, has a lopsided orbit that’s tilted relative to the other planets and much closer to the Sun on one side.

Inspiration for Emergence & the Janus Unfolding Series

You will find several themes in Emergence and the Janus Unfolding series each with its own source of inspiration.

Foremost is the mysterious Jim Post in Emergence. The mystery and the and the beginning of the book came to me in a new small emergencedream. A wealthy and mysterious man had built a grand home in Southwest Washington State in our near future. The locals knew nothing about him.

The home was on fire, and burning so hot that the fire department couldn’t put it out. When the fire finally burnt itself out, there was little left of the house, and the fire crew found a body inside.

When I woke the next day, I started to write about the man and the mysteries surrounding him, including about whether it was his body they found.

The book and series developed around additional themes. Evolution is a prime one. What would you do if evolution took a turn to develop a better model of human and you found that you were one of them? What would you do if you found you weren’t?

When we think about evolution, it is usually about what has happened in the past. What will happen in the future? Technology and Social Media are making changes in our lives, but what about the basic human. There were a number of different hominids in our past, and our model emerged to be the dominant one (with traces of the others in our DNA).

Is that it? Does evolution stop with us as we are? Why not a new and better model?

The new humans might have readily identifiable improvements: a little stronger and maybe faster, physically. Perhaps they could reason better and faster as well. What more would they have, and where would these other abilities take the human race. de chardin

I’ve taken the liberty to stretch the concepts I found a number of books. Three that stand out are:  The Phenomenon of Man, by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Entangled Minds, by Dean Radin, and Mindfulness in Plain English, by Henepola Gunaratana. Also I found the ‘k-space’ notion in James P. Hogan’s The Genesis Machine helpful.Entangled Minds cover

MindfulnessOf course, when thinking about an evolutionary change, one wonders what triggered the change. The characters in Emergence and the other books of the series Factotum and Inheritance are curious about that, too.

I must warn you in advance, that my books create a hopeful scenario for our common future.

Friendly Thoughts

Promotion of ‘Emergence’ eBook

The promotion of the eBook Emergence ran from 8/22 to 9/5.  Here’s the results and what I learned.

The price on Amazon and Barnes & Noble was lowered from $3.99 to $0.99.  For a fee, twenty different services sent an email to their clients on a designated day during that period announcing the discount and two others sent out dozens of tweets about the discount. new small emergence

379 copies of Emergence were sold for $0.99. Happily also about 20 copies each of the other two books in the series, Factotum and Inheritance, were also sold at the regular price. Thirteen Emergence eBooks were sold on Barnes and Noble, all the rest of the sales were on Amazon.

Three book reviews of Emergence were posted on Amazon. One of the reviews had 2-stars from a person who never rated anything higher than 3-stars. The other two were 5-star reviews.

It was difficult to assess the effectiveness of each of the services. One pattern that seemed to emerge was that the emails were far more effective than the tweets.

The fees for these services exceeded the revenues by quite a margin. In an effort to reduce the gap in the next discount promotion later this year, some services whose email presentation did not look good and the sales on their day were low will be dropped.Interview cover image

One service that exceeded my expectations in terms of the service they provided was It’s Write Now. They sent out the promised email announcement. They also tweeted the announcement and they set up and published an author interview which thought was well done. I’ve added the interview to my website.

The hope was that revenues would at least cover the fees.  That didn’t happen, but having so many people read my books is a good thing.  It was also heartening to see that some who purchased Emergence also purchased the other books in the series and it would be great to see more of this as people finish reading Emergence.

Also, getting reviews is a very helpful outcome.  Hopefully more will come as people finish the books.  Another very good outcome is that Emergence has been in the top 100 hundred best Reviewsselling books in the Amazon category  Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children’s eBooks > Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Science Fiction during this entire promotion.  The highest it has been is #6, it has been #20 or lower during much of the time.

One more item of note is that a Goodreads giveaway of Emergence paperbacks was set up to end on 9/1.  When that ended, the 643 people who did not win a copy in that giveaway were notified of the eBook discount.

Emergence Promotion Dates Set

Emergence-by-CA-KnutsenI have been talking about the need for reviews to set the stage for a promotion of Emergence. Thank you for the reviews!   I have set the dates.  The Emergence eBook will be discounted from $3.99 to $0.99 from August 22 to September 5.

I have made arrangements with 20 services to send out a notice to their email lists on various day during that period.   People on these lists are eager to get free or discounted eBooks.  The combined number on these 20 different lists is several hundred thousand.

Besides sales of Emergence, this process will raise visibility of the Janus Unfolding series and possibly create sales of Factotum and Inheritance.  Also, there may be additional reviews which is always a good thing.  This is my first time through this.  I hope it yields fun results.

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Writer’s Logjam

We’ve all heard of Writer’s Block – where a person has a hard time getting their writing started.  I just went through a session of Writer’s Logjam.  I am beginning the next book, which  is set in the Janus Unfolding world.  I had a dozen or so ideas and they all wanted to be first in line, sort of like logs floating down the river and getting jammed together.  I broke through the logjam and am in the third chapter.

The Carter Kovak mysteries

I’ve begun writing the first novel in the Carter Kovak mystery series.  Carter and his wife Natalie are former intelligence agency employees.  Carter worked for an agency that doesn’t exist anymore, he laughs and says, “…actually, it didn’t exist while I was working there….”  Natalie worked for the FBI as a person who could find the answer to any question and provide the analyses needed to support the field agents.  They met while working on a case together.  I’m very excited about what these two will get into and how they will work their way to successful conclusions.